Listen Live Graphics (Indy)

INDIANAPOLIS — It takes a village to impact a community.

“Everybody doing their own part, so what can I do,” Ron Gee, the man behind the Village Project said.

Gee is working to line up the minds of the next generation.

“Just getting them out of their community, letting them see something else and give them a visual about the world what is really like other than under-served communities,” Gee said

About a month ago Gee created the village project. He said his goal is to restore hope. The project serves as an opportunity to keep teens active while they are out of school.

“It’s cool to not be in trouble, it’s cool to be a part of this brotherhood that we strongly try to teach them,” Gee said.

On any given day – the group of 12 boys, ranging in ages from 12 to 18, mostly from the east side, learn skills like washing a car – and take trips to black-owned art galleries, even concerts – they even get a fresh cut to help build up their confidence.

“It gives the community a different way to look at the village to, even if they have dreads, wear hip hop clothes, even if they still listen to the music, that doesn’t mean that they are bad,” Gee said.

12-year-old JP Mcmillian has been a part of the village project since it started.

“To keep young kids out of the streets, teach them how to work and things like that,” Mcmillian said.

Mcmillian says that he has learned a lot from this project in the past month.

“A lot of young kids like us is on the streets right now, selling everything they can,” Mcmillian said.

His goal is to become a real estate agent one day – and says this project is a way to help combat violence in the city.

“It excites me to keep myself out of the streets and not die young,” Mcmillian said.

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